Trump, Clinton Would be Very Different on Policies Toward Latin America
Andres Oppenheimer - Miami Herald
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July 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination for president (PBS NewsHour)

Judging from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy views expressed in their nomination speeches, they would carry out very different policies toward Latin America.

Here are some of their main differences:

First, on human rights and democracy, Trump would make a radical departure from the long-standing bi-partisan U.S. policy of making the respect for human rights and democracy key conditions for Washington's good relations with countries in the region.

"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo," Trump said in his speech to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21.

Trump, who has repeatedly spoken in positive terms about Russia's strongman Vladimir Putin, said that he would not demand that Turkey and other authoritarian U.S. allies respect human rights.

“I don’t think we have a right to lecture" other countries, he told The New York Times on June 20, adding that the United States has enough problems of its own. Asked specifically whether that meant that he would not make spreading democracy and liberty a cornerstone of his foreign policy, Trump responded, "We need allies."

Clinton, on the other hand, says she would maintain the bi-partisan policy supported with various degrees of enthusiasm by Democratic and Republican presidents since the mid-1970's of demanding that U.S. allies and foes respect fundamental freedoms.

Trump's realpolitik would take U.S. foreign policy back to the days of the Cold War, when the United States routinely supported right-wing repressive regimes such as that of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, under the premise that they were U.S. allies. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is famously alleged to have said, "Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch."

But U.S. support for right-wing dictators backfired on Washington, creating a wave of anti-Americanism in the region that gave rise to leftist guerrillas, the Cuban Revolution, and — more recently — to radical-leftist populist regimes such that of Venezuela. It’s a policy that most historians agree has always hurt the United States in the long run.

Read the rest at Miami Herald

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